Carson resident Florence Avognon was recently named a 2012 California Teacher of the year by California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Avognon, who works under the auspices of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and teaches high school-level English at The Phoenix Academy, was one of five individuals presented with this honor.

“This honor is afforded to teachers who have demonstrated a special ability to connect with their students, a zest for the classroom, a genuine passion for an occupation that is so demanding yet oh so rewarding,” said Torlakson in a press release on the announcement.

A nine-year veteran with LACOE, Avognon works with teen substance abusers at The Phoenix Academy, which is a residential treatment program in Sylmar. She previously worked at the Central Juvenile Hall near downtown Los Angeles and has a total of 18 years of teaching experience.

“I have spent 18 years impressing upon students the need to develop their communities through developing themselves,” says Avognon, who recently discovered through her Facebook page just how deeply she had touched so many lives.